Formal Leadership Development (5)

 Formal Leadership Development 5Overgeneralization of perceived successful leadership development recipes to complex local contexts calls into question the efficacy of such formal training interventions. Hoffman commented that:

given the value and costs of management development activities it is unsettling that so little evaluative evidence exists and that so many people question whether these efforts do anything to upgrade actual managerial performance.

(1985: 34)

Over a decade later Yukl (1998) also questions the efficacy of training approaches to developing leadership:

Despite the massive volume of leadership training that occurs there has been relatively little research on its effectiveness … More research is required of different training techniques for different types of leadership skills and behavior.

(1998: 490)

Day (2000) goes further and argues that leadership development practice, including both training and education foci on skills and behaviors, has failed to recognize research that shows leadership to be ‘a complex interaction between designated leader and the social and organizational environment’ (2000: 583). Over the last 20 years, the process perspective of leadership has led to a re-conceptualization of leadership development.

From this perspective, Day (2000) suggests that leadership development should be seen from the two interconnected perspectives of human capital and social capital. Day advocates that the traditional formal models of coaching, mentoring, 360-degree feedback and role modeling need to be moved from a perspective that:

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